This year I have come across some amazing acts and funnily enough all their names have started with the letter “K”.
First there’s Kehlani who I spoke about in my last post (click here)
Then there’s Kelela who I caught on an episode of “Later with Jools Holland.” Her performance of “LMK” was both stunning and sophisticated.
And last but not least, there is Kali Uchis. Her song “Tyrant” popped up in my list of recommended videos after watching one too many Jorja Smith videos. So I gave it a listen and was greeted by the soothing sound of a piano and Kali Uchis’ hypnotising vocals. I love the chorus, especially the line, “Keep spinnin’ me ’round (and ’round) x4.” The slow tempo of the song is perfect for winding those hips round and round and round and round. If you don’t believe me just take a look at the music video as Kali Uchis does just that. She is an artist that is very much in demand and has featured on tracks with the Gorillaz, Daniel Caesar, Miguel and Tyler, The Creator.
For me, 2017 was definitely the “Year of the K” and I’m hopeful that Kehlani, Kelela and Kali Uchis will have more great music to offer us in 2018 !!! 😉
The first song I ever heard from Calvin Harris was “Acceptable in the 80’s” (2006) and since then he has gone on to become one of the most sought after DJs in the WORLD!!!
Over the years, he has evolved, re-invented his sound and even himself. He is a hit-making machine and this is clear from his latest album, “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1.” The tracks, “Slide“, “Feels“, “Heatstroke” have all gone down a treat so far and now I can add, “Faking It” to the list.
Calvin Harris has worked with a revolving door of musicians and on “Faking It” he enlists the help of Kehlani and Lil Yachty. For months, I have heard about Kehlani because her name has been on a lot of people’s lips, however I didn’t think to check her out until now. It was after listening to “Faking It” that I decided to take some real notice. After doing a little digging, I can see why other artists admire her because she seems like such a sweet, humble and down-to-earth person. She can also sing for r-e-a-l and I love that she is a Demi Lovato fan!!!
Okay back to “Faking It”…after hearing the first 5 seconds of the intro, I just knew that I was going to enjoy the rest of the song (and surprise surprise, I did). The visuals for the music video are really majestic and I love how it captures the beauty found within the natural world with shots of different animals and creatures. The presence of ice in the background also gives the video a rich and luxurious feel.
“I’ve got love for you, if you were born in the 80’s.” [Calvin Harris, “Acceptable in the 80’s”]. Sorry Calvin, I was born in the 90’s but I will forgive you. Just continue to produce amazing tunes and we can call it even 😉
Miguel is one of those artists who seems to have the whole package:
a) He can saaang b) He can perform c) He’s got the looks d) He has confidence
and the list goes on and on…
But out of everything, I became a fan after hearing his incredible vocals. Whenever his name is mentioned, it always gets me excited because I know he is going to deliver something special!!!
Although Miguel shows the classic signs of an all-rounder he has been a member of the “talented but under-rated” club for a little while now. I remember reading a comment under the music video for “Lost in your Light” (the song he does with Dua Lipa). Someone had written, “Is it only me who loves Miguel? I feel like I’m his only fan on planet earth.” There were times when I thought the same but I now know that is definitely not the case. However, I still get surprised when people say they have heard of him (sorry, years of practise).
About a couple of months ago, Miguel dropped the song “Sky Walker” ft Travis Scott- a track from his soon to be released “War & Leisure” album. It is catchy, has chilled-out vibes and is sure to put a smile on your face. The music video also looked like it was a lot of fun to film. I like how the name of the song, is an actual reference to the jedi knight from Star Wars, “Luke Skywalkin’ on my haters.” As well as Star Wars, the film Top Gun also gets a mention, “Top Gun on my Tom Cruise.” (I’m guessing Miguel is a fan of these classic movies).
So two thing to remember guys:
#1 War & Leisure is out on Friday 1st December (I will be getting my hands on a copy)
#2 Please check out the song and video for “Told You So“- (it is sooooo good, I have probably listened to it every single day since it was released!!!)
This is not the first time that “JoJo” and “Yuna” have appeared on this blog. However it is the first time that I have mentioned them in the same post. I thought it would be fitting as they both brought out sensational albums last year, which I have listened to multiple times from start to finish.
“Chapters” is the third album from Yuna, which in my opinion is a solid body of work and the critics seem to agree. It claimed the #13 spot in Rolling Stone’s 20 Best R&B Albums of 2016 (which is a pretty big deal). There are obviously tracks that stand out for me on the album (“Lanes“, “Used to Love You” ft Jhené Aiko, “Time”) but on the whole, every track deserves to be listened to and has earned its rightful place. * You know an album is good when you can listen to it all the way through without skipping the album tracks to get to the singles and vice versa.
With Yuna, I had a feeling that she was bringing out a new album because of the sudden stream of new music on my YouTube homepage (“Places to Go” & “Crush” ft Usher). Whereas with JoJo, I kind of stumbled upon “Mad Love” and thank goodness that I eventually did or else I could have missed out on hearing some great songs like”FAB” ft Remy Ma. With YouTube’s help I was able to listen to the entire “Mad Love” album. #YT saves the day!!!
I have got to say I have a soft spot for FAB (Fake Ass Bitches), especially the chorus which is so bad ass and in your face. It is one of those choruses, which should be sung as loudly as possible.
Fake ass bitches
When they smile in your face, but behind you it ain’t well wishes
When they eatin’ all the food off your plate and they don’t do dishes
When they words and they actions blur and they don’t know different
No time for these fake ass bitches
I like the song she does with Alessia Cara (I Can Only) who is also an amazing singer and whose song “Here” I will cherish forever (It’s not everyday that you find a song that you can relate to on such a personal level).
There is actually a video of JoJo, Alessia Cara and JinJoo (DNCE guitarist) performing “I Can Only” in a public bathroom!!! Science has proved that you sound better when singing in a bathroom (something to do with the acoustics) so maybe that’s the idea they were going for 😉 All I can say is that they all sound like stellar performers !!!
When you type “Daley” into Google, the sites that come up are mostly related to British diver, Tom Daley. However, flame-haired singer “Daley” (whose full name is Gareth Daley) is another Daley that the UK needs to get behind.
Years ago now, I remember watching Wretch 32 perform the song “Long Way Home” on Later with Jools Holland. For this particular song, he was joined on stage by Daley whose chorus perfectly complemented Wretch 32’s raw and hard-hitting verses. After that episode of “Jools”, Daley’s voice and certainly his look had left an impression on my mind so I downloaded his “Those who Wait” EP. This EP features “Alone Together“, the track he did with Marsha Ambrosius which has become one of his most successful songs and is definitely a fan favourite!!! Hailing from Manchester (England), the home-grown talent has also made sweet music with artists such as Jessie J (Remember Me), Pharrell Williams (Look Up) and the Gorillaz (Doncamatic).
Daley has already got a debut album (Days & Nights) under his belt and he has just recently released his second called ” The Spectrum.” So fingers crossed he will be touring soon* me thinks*, and guess what he is…but all the dates that I have seen are only in the States 😦 Across the pond, Daley has a huge following of fans and rightly so because his voice is beautiful, full of soul and he hits those high notes like the pro he is!!! His music is adored in the United States and the love that he receives out there is much more than in the UK. As much as it saddens me that I don’t know when he will next make an appearance on home-soil*, I’m glad that he is making a name for himself in the USA.
The first single off his latest album is called, “Until the Pain is Gone” and it features Jill Scott. I can’t wait to hear the other songs off this record because I know they are gonna be spectacular!!! XxX
*Okay scratch that, I’ve just found out that Daley is going on a World Tour and he will be coming to Europe, America and the UK!!!! 🙂
Daley rocking his curly bouffant and shades!!!
I think its been 3 or 4 months since I last posted in my blog and I genuinely feel so bad about this 😦 The reason why my posts have been so thin on the ground lately is because I am currently doing a Master’s degree at university…Yep, I have returned back to the days of being a student and the stress of “oh” so many deadlines and assignments. I’m not gonna lie but this Master’s is really taking it out of me!!!
Anyway in the months that I have been absent, I have still managed to hear plenty of brand, new music. Therefore, in this post I am just going to round-up all the new music that I have listened to in the last few months (below):
- Fenech-Soler- Cold Light– The electro-disco group recently released third album, “Zilla” which features the song Cold Light. For a little while, I was not too sure about what I thought of the track because it sounded quite different from their other songs. However once I got over that minor detail, the song grew into an absolute favourite of mine 🙂
- Gallant, Tablo, Eric Nam– Cave Me In – The three artists are all incredible on this dreamy RnB track. I would love to see them collaberate on another song together or possibly form a boy-band 😉 (just kidding, not kidding)
- Will Heard– I Better Love You– This song is from his new EP (Trust). After lending his vocals to songs with Rudimental and Tourist. I’m glad that he is now releasing his own music and people seem to be loving it!!!
- Zak Abel– Unstable– Another great song from an artist that deserves way more attention at the moment.
- DJ Fresh vs. Diplo– Bang Bang (R City, Selah Sue & Craig David)– The song features several different artists, however it was Selah Sue’s smoky vocals that stood out for me. It was music magazine, The Fly (sadly closed for business in 2014) which first got me hooked on Selah Sue’s music after they noted her song, “Raggamuffin” for recommended listening. I don’t know how many people know of the Belgian artist but I’m sure collaborations with huge artists like DJ Fresh and Major Laser will certainly earn her more fans!!!
- M.O– Not In Love– I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of fantastic tracks that this female trio have brought out 🙂
- JP Cooper–September Song– His live vocals are raw, soulful and mesmerising, I can’t believe I am only just hearing about this guy 😉 #Exceptional talent
Tablo, Gallant & Eric Nam
I got to know about Gallant, after hearing his song, “Talking to Myself” which was played regularly on the radio. Every time it was played on the radio, I grew more and more interested in the man behind those irresistible and gorgeous vocals. Initially, I thought I was listening to Tyler James, who was a promising contestant on the Voice UK, however it seems that he has taken a step back from the world of music. The last song, I heard from him was “Worry About You” featuring Kano.
Gallant is an artist that has gotten to where he is by working hard and mastering his craft, especially his falsetto. His falsetto is out of this world!!!
Gallant the interviewee vs. Gallant the performer
In interviews, Gallant comes across as a very chilled-out guy, however put him on a stage to sing and he becomes this animated and electric performer. It is like the music brings him to life!!!
I love the quality of his voice, I could listen to it all day and hope it will continue to carry him far and bring him further success in the coming year!!!
All that I have left to say is that he has got one of the best voices around at the moment and also please check out the video below, where he explains why he chose to leave New York for Los Angeles. And like many decisions in life, food always plays a vital role… aye. In Gallant’s case, it was to do with a McFlurry 😉
Fifth Harmony have brought out a number of singles following their departure from the X-Factor USA in 2012. However, the first song by them to be played on UK radio stations was “Worth It” in 2015, which quickly became a breakout hit and rose to number #3 in the charts.
They have released plenty of catchy songs but I would have to say that out of those, there are probably three songs that I would class as my absolute favourites and would happily play on REPEAT!!! These are “Worth It“, “Boss” and “That’s My Girl.” Their latest offering, “That’s My Girl” is a track that I’m obsessed with at the moment. I love the pre-chorus (sang by Normani) because of its fast-tempo and melody and also the chorus which is so lively and loud 😉
[Destiny said it, you got to get up and get it
Get mad independent and don’t you ever forget it
Got some dirt on your shoulder
Then let me brush it off for ya
If you’re feeling me, put your five high
That’s my girl]
GIRL POWER XxX
It has been no secret that Cher Lloyd (X-Factor alumnus) has been working hard in the studio and creating new music for some time now. Therefore, it was really exciting when we finally got to hear the fruits of that labour, when she dropped the song, “Activated” in the summer. The first time I listened to it, I thought it was okay, but after giving it a few more listens it has grown into a song that I really like!!!
The chorus is the best part of the song, especially when she sings “When I do the damn thing, just watch me.” It sounds really cool and fresh and the beat makes it impossible to sit/stand still.
Cher Lloyd has a distinctive voice that is very much her own and her audition on the X-Factor is one that I will never forget. It sticks in my mind because she sounded like nothing I had ever heard before on the show and her choice of song was so unexpected. (Turn My Swag On)
Miss Lloyd has been very successful in America, whereas in the UK she is still paying the price for mistakes that she made when she was younger. It is a shame because we have a talented singer on our doorstep who is being over-looked for all the wrong reasons.
Since its inception, I have managed to watch nearly all the seasons of the X-Factor (I think there were 3 seasons that I definitely missed). The singing, talent show has been on our screens for 12 years and in that time the judging panel, the presenters and the format of the show have gone through various changes. In my opinion, the quality of the X-Factor has dipped in recent years because I sometimes feel that I’m watching a rehearsed reality show rather than a singing competition.
However the X-Factor is a great platform for aspiring musicians and many talented singers have made it onto the show such as Ella Henderson, James Arthur, Cher Lloyd & Rebecca Ferguson. Even though, some people like to criticise the X-Factor, I disagree with those who slate truly incredible artists just because they started out on the programme. Or say they can’t sing live, when they blatantly can and have proved it by singing live, week in and week out on the X-Factor!!!
I was so happy when James Arthur won the X-Factor in 2012, because his voice is exceptional and he pours so much pain and emotion into every note that he sings. He recently brought out new single “Say You Won’t Let Go” which is the first piece of new music that I’ve heard from him in such a loooooong time. After three years of silence, this song re-introduced me to the artist whose voice always left an impression on me, when singing on the X-Factor.
Trust me, James Arthur’s vocals are a pretty big deal- check out his cover of Emeli Sande’s “Hurts” and Ariana Grande’s “Into You.”